ST LOUIS (LALATE) – The Waldo Canyon Fire Map expanded today after Colorado wildfires spread Sunday. The Waldo Canyon Fire now northwest of Colorado Springs was first reported on LALATE Sunday. The fire erupted after a quick burning blaze was reported Saturday June 23 shortly after noon. The fire, originating in Pike National Forest in El Paso County, has now by Monday June 25, 2012 spread to over three thousand six hundred acres. But unlike other Colorado wildfires erupting this June, the Waldo Canyon Fire is centered near densely a populated region.
On Monday, firefighters on the Waldo Canyon Fire are attempting to prevent its spread near Colorado Springs. But despite the fire’s aggressiveness, a strong force of four hundred firefighters has prevented any structural loss currently. Today, officials confirmed to news that a new Type I Incident Management Team will be arriving. They will be teaming up with USDA Forest Service, El Paso County and City of Colorado Springs, among other agencies.
But officials are concerned that the fire could reach as much as five thousand acres. In a news statement Monday, firefighters warned the Waldo Canyon Fire is spreading north and east. In the south, the fire is heading to Cedar Heights. On the west, the fire could reach Cascade and Green Mountain Falls.
Incident Commander Chuck Russell tells news that evacuations are in place for FS RD 312, Shoebar Trail, Farish Air Force Academy Camp and FS Springdale Campground. Evacuations are in place for Cedar Heights Subdivision along with boundaries at “Rampart Range Road to the west and everything west of 30thand Centennial from Gateway Road north to Chuck Wagon. This is the only mandatory or voluntary evacuation in effect at this time in Colorado Springs City limits.”
Local residents told morning news today that many of the voluntary evacuations are swiftly changing to mandatory evacuations. Voluntary evacuations currently are believed for Teller County “East of Safeway, north of Safeway to Rampart Range Road, south to Edlow Road”.
On Sunday, eleven thousand residents were evacuated. Nearly half of those came from Manitou Springs. But by 8 pm, those Manitou Springs residents were reportedly allowed back into their homes. Some reports Monday list mandatory evacuations in place Cascade, Green Mountain Falls and Chipita Park.
Greg Heule, a public-information officer for the Waldo Canyon fire, tells news that the fire is exceptionally aggressive. He has dispatched now four C-130 military transport planes for dropping fire retardant solution. Cheyenne Canon Park, Palmer Park and Garden of the Gods are currently closed. For the latest fire map and updates, click HERE.